Pubdate: Tue, 20 Nov 2007
Source: Tryon Daily Bulletin, The (NC)
Copyright: 2007 Tryon Daily Bulletin
Author: Leah Justice
Referenced: Jean Marlowe's letter
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


Medical marijuana advocate Jean Marlowe says recent marijuana charges 
against Steve Marlowe will be fought and the fight will cost the 
taxpayers of this county thousands of dollars.

Jean Marlowe wrote a letter to the editor (see pg. 8) saying that she 
is one of the patients for whom Steve Marlowe grows marijuana. She 
questions the informant that the Polk County Sheriff's Office used to 
execute warrants and says the county faces potential lawsuits in the 
case for unnecessary destruction of one property and abuse to another 
individual, who was hit with a gun, knocked out and had to spend the 
night in the hospital.

Last Tuesday night, the Polk County Sheriff's Office executed search 
warrants at the home of Steve Marlowe on Coopers Trace Road in Sunny 
View, where officers seized about 60 marijuana plants being grown 
there, according to sheriff's office reports. Steve Marlowe was 
charged with maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for a controlled 
substance, manufacturing marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He appeared in Polk County District Court last Wednesday; the case 
was continued until Dec. 12.

Although only Steve Marlowe was charged last Tuesday, Jean Marlowe 
says her advocacy for the use of medical marijuana has resulted in 
her being arrested and prosecuted in the past. She uses marijuana 
medicinally because she was born with a defective liver, which makes 
her allergic to any type pain reliever. Several of her cases in the 
past (in 1996 and 1998) have been dismissed by the district attorney 
or reduced to a misdemeanor. Her most recent case in Bryson City in 
May was also dismissed.

She says 14 states have now passed laws to protect patients and when 
this case is over she will work for N.C. Legislation to protect 
patients and their caregivers from prosecution. She says Congress has 
passed the "Right To Be Pain Free Act," which provides some 
protection on a constitutional level.

In her letter, Jean Marlowe questions the tactics used to execute the 
warrants against Steve and says the sheriff's office did not find 
large amounts of marijuana and cash as the informant had advised.

But sheriff's officers say there were 60 plants with special lights 
and that the growing operation was one of the biggest and most 
professional they'd seen.

Polk County Sheriff Chris Abril says the informant was local and his 
office was simply trying to do its job and enforce the law.

"(Marijuana) is still illegal in North Carolina," Sheriff Abril said. 
"All we are doing is trying to do our jobs and enforce the law." 
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